Best Ways To Clean Your Washing Machine

Last Updated on 15 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

Do you want to know how to clean a washing machine? Then this article is ideal for you. In this article, we’ll tell you about the best ways to clean your washing machine. We’ll also provide some tips that will help keep your washer at peak performance.

Best Ways To Clean Your Washing Machine

Washing Machines have been a blessing to India’s population. Before, you’d have to sit at a place, sometimes more than an hour, just scrubbing away at clothes. Now you can let your machine do all your work. In your free time, you can do other things. Life gets much more comfortable.

Most washing machines can’t clean themselves thoroughly. They can do all the cleaning for you, but in return, you need to keep them in tip-top shape. Thus, knowing how to clean a washing machine is essential. Using specific techniques and applying correct detergents will help you in that regard.


Various Ways of Cleaning A Washing Machine

The first thing you can do when cleaning the washer is to use unique solutions. If you’ve got vinegar, bleach or baking soda at home, you can try these.

There are two solutions, and they both need vinegar. You can use one of the other two.

1. Vinegar And Bleach

Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar And Bleach

This solution is excellent for cleaning washing machines with, as it can get rid of unpleasant smells.

First, run the machine with four cups (946.35 ml) of white vinegar. Always use that instead of a fabric conditioner, as that can be harmful to the washer. In fact, this vinegar can produce even better results. And the smell isn’t something you can notice either. It will get rid of the mouldy odours in the machine and your clothes.

After completion, open the door immediately so that air can dry the moisture off. This will reduce the chances of mould growing in humidity.

Once you do that, you’ll have to pull back the rubber lining. If you see mould, get the vinegar and scrub it out. For best results, scrub again with bleach. Make sure you dry out the rubber lining.

This way, your machine will stay clean and also free of smells.


2. Vinegar And Baking Soda

Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar And Baking Soda

Another thing you can do is use vinegar with baking soda. This method is quite effective if you don’t have any bleach.

Mix in ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of baking soda in a small container. Put the mixture inside your machine’s detergent dispenser. Then, add 2 cups of vinegar into the washing machine drum.

Afterwards, proceed to run your washing machine at normal mode. The water setting has to be at its highest. You can then close the door and start the machine. It will then clean itself.

The baking soda and vinegar soda helps get rid of the mineral deposits and mould. Stubborn mould deposits at the openings can come off with sponges. Then, take out the residue with clean water. You’ll see your machine will be as clean as ever.

These are the first steps to cleaning a washing machine. Repeat the method every month or whenever the need arises.

Recommended Reading: List of 7 Best Top Load Washing Machine in India by the Experts


Cleaning Individual Parts

Now, when you think of how to clean a washing machine, you think about using specific solutions. Though, there are parts you need to check on and clean as well. These parts can also affect your washer, and above all, its performance.


1. How To Clean The Drum

How To Clean The washing machine Drum

To clean the drum, you can follow these steps:

  • Dissolve some washing machine cleaning powder in water. Otherwise, you can also use a soap solution.
  • Dip a rag into the solution and wipe the drum with it.
  • Dry the drum by wiping it with another clean rag.
  • Allow the residue to dissipate by leaving the door open for some time.


2. How To Clean The Dryer

How To Clean The washing machine Dryer

You need to keep the dryer clean as well. Here’s how:

  • Use soapy water to clean up the top and exterior of the dryer.
  • Clean the interior and door seal of the dryer.
  • Check the exterior and ensure that there’s nothing blocking air from escaping.

Before you use the machine to dry clothes, use the dryer with old rags or towels. As a result, residues leftover from drying will come off.


3. How To Clean The Drain Pipe

How To Clean The washing machine Drain Pipe

Drain Pipe is another vital part of your machine. If it gets clogged up, the water will not drain properly. As such, here are some things you can do to free up the pipe:

  • Find the pipe first. It should be behind the machine where the hose pours into.
  • Pour down some hot water down the drain. This water can free a pipe that’s narrow because of soap and scum.
  • If there is no improvement, detach the drain and pour a commercial drain cleaner inside with hot water.
  • Make sure to rinse the cleaner out with water afterwards. Otherwise, your pipe might get damaged.
  • Lastly, if you’re still facing problems, you can use a plumbing snake to clear out the pipe.

One of these steps will free your drain and fix the drainage.

Recommended Reading: The most common washing machine problems that are easy to avoid


Liquid Or Powder – Which Detergent To Use With Washer

Liquid Or Powder - Which Detergent To Use With Washer

Following the steps above, you can make your washing machine run better. Now, here we’ll talk about another aspect that can make cleaning less of a chore.

1. Liquid Detergents

Liquid Detergents for Washer


Liquid Detergents are very popular. They’re very efficient at what they do. They come ready to use, so all you have to do is open the lid, measure the liquid and pour it inside the machine. Their composition consists of Alkalis, Surfactants, Enzymes, Fragrances and Dyes.

A bottle can last about six months. They’re the best option for a washer- as they leave little residue in the machine and still clean well. They don’t clog septic systems either. As there’s a low residue, there’s not much to be cleaned and whatever remains comes off easily.

Advantages of Liquid Detergents

  • Most washing machines run better with liquid detergents.
  • Can work as a spot cleaner or pre-treater.
  • Mix in well with water.
  • Easy to use and pour.
  • Most contain fewer chemicals than powdered detergents. Thus, they’re environment friendly.
  • They penetrate deep into fibres, getting rid of oil and grease easier.

Disadvantages of Liquid Detergents

  • Excess liquid detergent leaves a residue on fabrics, causing skin irritation.
  • They come in plastic bottles, which aren’t good for the environment.
  • More expensive than powdered detergents.
  • Limit the effectiveness of other cleaners like bleach.
  • They don’t last very long, more or less around six months.


2. Powder Detergents

Powder Detergents for Washer


Powder detergents have the same composition as liquid ones for the most part. They also often contain enzymes, brighteners, fragrances and whiteners. They aren’t as popular as they used to be, but they’re still incredibly useful. They’re cheap, and they’re good at dealing with spots. But, even with the advantages we mention, they can be bad for your washing machine.

Powder detergents can clump together when undissolved. They’ll end up clogging the washer or septic tank.

Moreover, they’ll clog up the washer drain pump or the hose of the pump. Thus, the washer may fail to drain. It’ll be a lot of work cleaning up all these detergents stuck inside your washing machine.

Advantages of Powder Detergents

  • Take less space in storage.
  • More stable than liquid detergents.
  • Mix in with hard water better.
  • Use fewer amounts of dyes.

Disadvantages of Powder Detergents

  • Hard to clean.
  • Can damage a washing machine.
  • Leaves even more residue on clothes over liquid detergents, as powder won’t dissolve properly sometimes.
  • Most contain sodium sulphate, which is bad for waterways.
  • Need to be pre-dissolved in water for pre-treating spots.
  • They tend to go airborne, which may cause problems to users with respiratory conditions.

Now, as you can see, powder detergents can be harmful to washing machines. They even cause more harm to the body. So, it would be best if you use liquid detergents when you’re operating a washing machine. Regardless if you’re using a front-loading washer or a top-loading washer, liquid detergent is ideal for both.

Recommended Reading: Powder vs Liquid detergent- Which is better for the washing machine?


Cleaning The Washing Machine – Little Things You Should Keep In Mind

Alright, we’re past the most significant steps you need to know about cleaning a washing machine. It’s time to discuss other things you can do. These things will help run the washer at its full potential.


1. Keep Filters Clean

Keep washing machine Filters Clean

Washing machines use special filters to clean effectively. These filters need cleaning every 2-3 months. First, take out the filter and wipe it with a paper towel. This will remove residues of lint and excess detergents.

Afterwards, you can get the screen out of the filter and soak it in hot water. The heat will get rid of the remnants of lint and detergents as well. Your filter should be thoroughly clean at that point.

Also, check the compartment of the filter for any lint before you put it back in. Once the filter is clean, you’ll get better performance, and the filter will also last longer.


2. Clean The Washer Exterior

Clean The Washer Exterior

Cleaning the exterior is easy enough. Sometimes, you might spot surface blemishes. These blemishes come from water or detergent residue. Some detergent and a damp microfiber cloth should be enough to remove them. However, if they still remain, you can use a cooktop cleaner.

Then, your washing machine exterior will turn spotless as it was at the start.


3. Clean The Detergent Drawer

cleaning the washing machine drawer

Using too much detergent can clog up the detergent drawer, causing less to reach your laundry. The odours will increase as well. As long as you wipe the drawer clean after every wash, it shouldn’t be a bother to clean it fully.

To start with, pull the detergent drawer out until it stops. Then, lift the dispensers out and rinse them with warm water. Doing so will remove traces of detergents. Additionally, you can also use a soft brush to clean.

Afterwards, you have to clean the drawer opening. In a front loading washing machine, you can do this by pushing the drawer on the ends of each side at once, and then pulling out. On the other hand, if you have a top loader, you can pull the drawer out and tip it up to remove it.


4. Detergent Brand

Detergent brand for washer

The detergent you’re using should come from a reliable brand. Otherwise, it might contain toxic chemicals that can cause damage to both your clothes and your washing machine. This kind of detergent can even cause an unpleasant odour inside the machine.

Recommended Reading: Looking for the Best Washing Machines under 20000? Top 9 Picks by the Experts


Popular Detergent Brands For The Washing Machine

As we mentioned many times, the detergent can have a significant impact on the state of your washer. Harmful detergents can cause odours and generally make your washing machine perform poorly.

Here are some brands you can use for your washing sessions:

1. Ariel

ariel detergent powder

You’ve probably heard of the name more than a few times. Ariel dishwasher bars, liquids and detergents are in nearly every home in India. Their liquid detergents are quite effective. They dissolve quickly and have a pleasing fragrance. One more advantage is that you get a large-cap which you can measure up to 85ml. Compatibility isn’t an issue either, as they work with any washing machine.

2. Surf Excel

Though most people know about Surf Excel being a producer for powdered detergents, they make liquid ones as well. These liquid detergents are incredibly effective. The cap is a little small, having a measurement of 60L. However, the pouch is lightweight and easy to carry or store.

Most importantly, they dissolve into water easily and leave fewer residues. As such, they can be an ideal and affordable choice for your washing machine.

3. IFB

IFB detergent powder

IFB washing machines are known as some of the best in the Indian market. Their specialisation in washing facilities extends beyond that industry. They produce high-quality detergents that are meant for washing machines and are more concentrated than others. Thus, there are fewer leftovers to clean off, and it can still make your clothes incredibly clean. As a small perk, they also have a very mild fragrance.

4. Genteel

Genteel detergent powder

Genteel is one of the cheaper brands of detergents. in fact; they’re part of Godrej, one of India’s best brands for home products. You’ll get a relatively basic quality, but it will be consistent and reliable. More importantly, you can get something that works well with your washer but with a lower price.

Recommended Reading: How to Find the Best Washing Machines under 15000 for your Home? Take a Look


How to clean a washing machine: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does mould grow in a washing machine?

Moisture can collect inside washing machines when they run often. This moisture can work itself into the seals, gaskets and other small places of the device. As it doesn’t always dry out properly, mould grows inside these areas. The growth can speed up further if the laundry room is particularly humid.


2. My washing machine stinks, what’s the best thing for me to do?

The bad smells don’t come from mould only, though they’re a large source. Scents from moulds mingle with any leftover residues from dirty clothes and expired detergents stuck inside. Give the washer a full clean, and use good detergents, so their smell doesn’t add up as well.


3. What happens if I don’t clean the lint filter?

The lint filter may look like an unremarkable feature, but it helps you in many ways. It makes your clothes lint-free. So having it clogged will stop your clothes from being as clean as they can be.

Besides, the draining ability of the washer goes down as well. As a result, you’ll also have to deal with increased mould growth. That’s not a big issue as the filter is easy to clean and only needs the cleaning every three or so months.

But, if you’ve got more money to spare, getting the best washing machines is an excellent idea. Most of them have self-cleaning filters, so maintenance gets easier.


4. Why is cleaning the detergent drawer necessary?

Sometimes, clumps of detergents can gather inside the detergent drawer. As we mentioned before, they tend to block up the detergent supply. Thus, not only are you wasting your detergents, but you also risk foul odours and only half-clean clothes.


5. What are the signs that indicate my washing machine needs cleaning?

Aside from the unpleasant smells, if your washing machine isn’t draining water properly, popping out clothes full of lint or generally performing poorly, then that means it needs cleaning.


6. Do the cleaning methods differ for front loading and top loading washing machines?

For the most part? No. There are only minor differences, like how components are disassembled. Otherwise, the cleaning methods can be applied to both types of washing machines.

Recommended Reading: Which are the 9 Best Semi Automatic Washing Machines in India 2024?



We’ve compiled the most effective ways you can keep your washing machine clean. You only need to do it every once in a while. Still, with these occasional cleanups, you’ll find that even an average washing machine can clean your clothes well.

That’s all we have to say. Congratulations, you now know everything on how to clean a washing machine.

We wish you the best of luck on keeping that washer running at its best. You’ll probably end up saving a lot of money by preventing a ton of malfunctions.

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